I am no professional photographer whatsoever, but I thought I would share some of the things I learned over the past year. My photography is still nowhere near where I would like it to be, but I am improving everyday. Follow these tips to help your photos stand out.
I know plenty of people who use iPhone photos on their blog. I started my blog using just a regular point and shoot Nikon Camera. I wanted to make my photos stand out, but I wasn’t really able to do that until I bought my Canon Rebel T3i. If you don’t have the money, don’t go out and buy one. Other cameras do the job, it just takes practice.
(Sorry for the photo quality, I had to take these with my cellphone.)
Natural lighting is key! There are days where I wake up to take photographs and it’s raining and just want to crawl back in bed. Lighting can turn an amazing photo into a bad photo and vice versa. Refrain from using flash. Flash does not make the food/product look appealing at all.
I set my table up in front of the window with the window on the lefthand side. I don’t move anything when I take my pictures (notice my boyfriends amp and the couch). I cram myself into the corner and take my pictures. Since I use a 50mm lens I don’t need much space.
My “table” is a $20 LACK coffee table from IKEA. I use the magazine shelf to hold my props and lenses while I’m taking photos on top of the table.
My setup usually looks very similar to this. Notice for the backdrop I just stretched a plain black t-shirt over another poster board. My Backdrop Shop also sells numerous vinyls that are perfect for backdrops.
This is what I see when I’m taking my pictures. The white foam board acts as a reflector which eliminates shadows.
I often take many pictures of the same recipe just using different angles. For puppy chow I love taking top down photos and straight on photos.
(pictured above: Hot Chocolate Puppy Chow)
Different angles can change the whole look of a picture. One might draw more people in more than the other.
(pictured above: Double Coffee Donuts)
The bigger the better. I hate going on a blog with an awesome recipe and I go and find tiny tiny photos. My pictures are usually scaled to 600×900. A tiny photo doesn’t catch my attention. A small photo also doesn’t help when you’re pinning to pinterest. Longer pictures are more likely to be seen than others. I always take vertical photos. I will include horizontal photos but vertical ones are always the focus.
Notice how much more inviting a vertical photo is versus a horizontal photo.
They’re both still nice but one stands out more than the other.
I’ve tried it all. At first I just used the bench my boyfriend and I built as my surface. It worked but it wasn’t easy to move. The lighting wasn’t always the best where our bench was but it was too heavy to carry around the house. I also enjoy variety. Using the same wooden bench in every picture didn’t give me the variety I was looking for.
Recently I found out that most bloggers use vinyl backdrops for their pictures. I went on Etsy to see what I could find. My Backdrop Shop really stood out. Their selection is HUGE! They offer vinyls with swirls, dots, stripes, brick, wood flooring, chevron, holiday related, and many more. I use the 2ft x 2ft size, it’s perfect for close up shots.
Shipping time is incredible. It only took 2 days to get to me after ordering from The Backdrop Shop. This is how your vinyls will arrive in the mail. Since they come rolled up I immediately take them out of the cylinder and stretch them onto poster board and hold them down with clamps (pictured above). They’re super easy to clean too so you don’t have to worry about the caramel sauce you just spilled all over them.
Both of these backdrops came from My Backdrop Shop. The link to these backdrops can be found here. If you order from My Backdrop shop they’re currently offering a code for 20% off. What’s even better is that if you find one of there designs anywhere else cheaper they will not only match the price but beat it by 10%.
Backdrops can be hung with clamps. I found mine at my local hardware store but you can also purchase them from The Backdrop Shop.
If the food I am photographing is colorful I don’t add much color into the photo because I want the center of attention to be on the food. When the food is dull in color I surround it in color so it looks more appealing versus a dark brownie with a dark background and a dark surface.
I hope these tips help improve your photography. Don’t give up, practice makes perfect!